Thursday, November 30, 2006

This was a first...

I chaired my first meeting tonight. It was a woman's meeting and a reading group (Living Sober). It was easy enough but it was weird to be asked.

There was a woman who was new to the group who was on her fifth day of sobriety. She was the last to share and expressed a lot of amazement over how much she got out of the meeting. I made a point of speaking with her after; I think we actually have a fair bit in common. I think she will return.

Today I am grateful for:

living sober today

people beginning to know me in the halls

feeling comfortable enough to reach out to a newcomer myself

Monday, November 27, 2006

Gratitude Found after a Crappy Day

Today was a crappy day for me. I did a presentation for about 60 people and let my stage fright take over. (I am terrified to speak publicly but trying to get over it.) While I got through all the things that I wanted to talk about, I blew through it all in 30 minutes instead of the allotted hour in the program (it was part of a two day program). There were no questions after I finished up, so I was done way earlier than the program coordinators expected which threw them into a tizzy. It sure FELT like an hour up there on the dais. It was just awful.

My gratitude list for today:

1. The presentation was in the seaside town where my former babysitter lives so I stopped by to see her right after my presentation. She just had her fourth operation for what began as Stage IV colon cancer (when they discovered it) and has now spread. This last operation could not get at all the tumors. She is turning to an experimental treatment as a last hope. She has a two year old boy. She was diagnosed six weeks after he was born. How is that something to be grateful for me? It is a blessing to be shown right after a flop, that my problems don't amount to much in the scheme of things at all. Not at all. Thank you, HP.

2. After my visit, it was still light out so I went for a stroll on the beach (two days in a row..I'm doubly blessed). It was that late afternoon wintry light kind of time, although it was a warm day. The beach settles my soul like nothing else, except may be being in a church. (yes, being in a church calms me even though I'm not particularly religious). Or going to meetings lately.

3. After that I went Christmas shopping (blowing off the rest of the day completely work-wise). I managed to knock off a few presents and get myself a new pair of pants to boot. Retail therapy...ahh. I am blessed to be able to indulge occasionally.

4. I went to a meeting tonight (which is my sixth since last Monday) and there were great speakers who I got a lot out of hearing. Meetings really can be like medicine.

5. That it has been weeks--no, months--since I last awoke with a hangover.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my blogger buds. Today, I think, might have been my first sober Thanksgiving, but maybe last year was. I can't really remember. I know I was trying to stay sober last year at this time. Anyway, I am sober today and that is what counts.

Today I am grateful for:

1. waking up hangover free this AM
2. getting to meetings three days in a row this week and all of them were good
3. a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with my family and my Dad at his place at the head of the table looking fit and healthy, if a bit thin.
4. the fun I had playing with my little thirteen month old niece..she is a cutie
5. a really fun music video/trivia game that we played after dinner
6. that I was not the drunk aunt at this gathering this year

Friday, November 17, 2006

90 days today

I will pick up my chip on Sunday at my regular meeting. I wish it weren't like the third chip I've gotten for 90 days but it's the first 90 day chip I've gotten today as they say, so I guess that's something.

Thanks to all my blogger buddies for their support. Can you believe I posted three times this week??

I am also grateful today for:

90 hangover free mornings

that my husband got up early and drove my daughter to her pickup point for a school trip so that I could sleep in

that today is Friday

that I am going Christmas shopping with a friend tomorrow who is seeking some help on her own alcohol issues ( a chance to be of service)

my two middle schoolers brought home excellent report cards (despite some issues with my middle guy)

for hot coffee in the early AM

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The thing about meetings

I am feeling pretty good with my sobriety even though I'm coming up on the 90 day mark when I have historically picked up again. When I feel good, I don't like to go to meetings...I don't like to take the time out of my day, which like everyone else's is very busy, and from my family and head to a meeting.

But I listen to people in AA who talk about meetings as being so key. And I force myself to go. And every time I force myself to go I have been really glad that I went. Those are the meetings that I seem to get the most out of.

Tonight I had to force myself and it was a great meeting. Lots of really good sharing and lots of stuff that I needed to hear but didn't know I did until I heard it.

The topic was "sensitivity" and folks talked a lot about how they used to take everything so personally, the smallest things or things that turned out to have nothing to with them.

It left me trying to figure out if I'm sensitive. I have never thought of myself that way. I would probably use the term "self-absorbed" more. I have a tendency to view the world as "all about me" in the sense that I attribute things to be directed at me or think people are thinking negative things about me when in reality people have got their own stuff to think about and probably aren't giving me a second thought.

I think it is tied in with fear of failing and looking like a fool or looking stupid or incompetent. I worry quite a bit about this. Doesn't matter how many accolades or achievements I've garnered over the years, I can never get over the feeling that it is all a mistake, that people just haven't realized what a true dope I am. I am working so hard to put those feelings away and live in the moment.

Today I am grateful for:

waking up without a hangover

the wonderful women at my Wednesday night meeting

that I've been given so many opportunities in life

for the fun I had with my family this evening trying to get a Christmas photo

for the ability to let go of my soon to be 14 year old daughter and let her make her own choices, even if I think the combat boots she wants for her birthday are awful

Sunday, November 12, 2006

uh oh I counted wrong

Yesterday was 12 weeks, not last week. Well time flies when you are having fun. In some ways it is a good thing that I am losing count of my sober days because it means I am growing comfortably sober. Sorry about the confusion though.

I went to my Sunday meeting today. I have not been getting to meetings and I felt the lack this morning. Especially since last night I was out to dinner with some friends and everyone was drinking but me. It really is rather boring to be around people who are getting a buzz on and my husband was on a bit of a tear. At least he let me drive. He and another couple we know all got kind of loud and slurry. Then he invited everyone (there were six of us) back to our house when all I really wanted to do was go to bed.

He ended up in the yard around the firepit with one of the guys, who was going to walk home several miles by himself, drunk. I heard this guy leaving and ended up getting out of bed (I'd gone to bed by then) and driving him home. I had fears of him getting hit by a car or having a heart attack or something on the way home.

Then the drunken husband kept me up for another hour while he snored.

Drinking sucks.

But I am grateful for some things and here they are:

12 weeks and a day sober (really this time)

a pre-Thanksgiving turkey day dinner that I cooked tonight and everyone liked (I don't get to cook on Thanksgiving)

at least I got to take a nap this afternoon

Monday, November 06, 2006

California trip

I'm back from San Francisco and thoroughly enjoyed myself. It's a neat city, very different from my home base in Boston and even from New York. My favorite thing had to be the people watching--what a diverse population and there are some, unique folks there. And friendly, even the bums on the street were chatty and some were quite creative about how they panhandle cash. We were telling my sister in law last night about one creative fella we ran into and it turns out they'd seen the same guy when they were out there! (He holds some tree branches so you think you are passing a bush then jumps out at you. It was funny in broad daylight anyway...)

The homeless population is a huge issue, though. There seemed to be homeless in every door way of every building. It was very sad and it was clear that addiction is a huge problem for many.

We did a lot of walking through the various neighborhoods and ate a LOT. Avocados are the most incredibly tasty thing...way tastier near where they grow than back home. I visited the farmer's market at the Ferry building and was in heaven. So many varieties of different produce, organic cheeses, yummy samples...I wish we had one like it in Boston. (We have Haymarket but that just sells the near rotten stuff that the groceries stores's not a real farmer's market.)

The only sobriety challenge was a Mexican restaurant where I envied my husband's margarita. But I had a very tasty tamarind agua fresca so I quickly got over it.

I very much want to visit again when I have more time to tour the surrounding areas. We did get to Sausalito but I'd like to drive the coast as well.

Gratitude list:

12 weeks of not waking up with a hangover

Guacamole made fresh in California with California grown avocados

A roof over my head

Feet that can do a lot of walking

That I don't mind a little rain (it was raining)

For safe flights

For my kids being happy to see me upon my return

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Halloween post-mortem

Lookee here, I figured out how to upload images to my blog! Zoiks!

Halloween turned out to be a tough one sobriety wise but I made it through sober. This may have been my first sober Halloween since I was a kid myself; I can't remember.

I am trying to take the rest of the week off and between trying to clear my desk at the office and still leave to get home in time for trick or treat, I had strong drinking urges on the drive home. So I picked up the phone and called my friend from AA who helped a lot. She wants me to call her every day so the pressure doesn't build. I feel very strange about that but I think I am going to take the suggestion.

The drinking urge stayed with me through out the evening and I wonder how much of it was old connections (Halloween = alcohol) and how much was due to my upcoming trip to California. (Vacation= alcohol and California = wine). I will not drink but I hate the discomfort of wanting to.

While I'm out in California, I plan to attend a few meetings, including a LifeRing meeting. Lifering is a secular recovery group that I belong to online and I would like to check it out and perhaps meet some folks I've corresponded with online.

Today I am grateful for:

Waking up without a hangover, which I surely would have had if I'd drank

My Dad's turning 84 yesterday

Almond Joys! (I give them out for treats so I can eat them)

My upcoming trip--be back on Sunday

having someone to call when the cravings really get strong

my kids being young enough to really enjoy Halloween